Research: Demand for CSR among Millennials

Empowering Disability Inclusion: Towards a SMART Bangladesh by 2041

Stakeholders recently gathered to address the crucial task of integrating disability inclusion into Bangladesh's national Smart agenda by 2041. Hosted by the Smart Bangladesh Network (SBN), in partnership with the Equal Bangladesh Campaign, Sightsavers, a2i, Idea Foundation, and InterContinental Dhaka, the event titled “Empowering Change: Role of a Caucus for Disability Inclusion in SMART Bangladesh” served as a pivotal platform for stakeholders to strategize on embedding disability inclusion into the fabric of national policies and development plans.

The event drew notable figures such as Md. Abul Kalam Azad, MP, who served as the chief guest, along with distinguished guests including KM Abdus Salam, senior secretary of the Bangladesh Parliament; Md. Shamsul Arefin, secretary of the ICT Division; Md. Mokammel Hossain, secretary of Civil Aviation and Tourism; and Amrita Rejina Rozario, country director of Sightsavers. Steering the discussions was Mollah Mizanur Rahman, Joint Project Director at a2i (Joint Secretary).

Commencing with a registration and tea session, the event progressed into insightful presentations and discussions, with Manik Mahmud, program specialist for Innovation at a2i and executive member of Smart Bangladesh Network, moderating the dialogue. Topics ranged from assessing challenges and achievements in disability innovation to exploring the pathways toward ensuring an inclusive SMART Bangladesh.

Amrita Rejina Rozario emphasized the imperative of revitalizing and empowering the caucus to meet the ambitious objectives of a Smart Bangladesh. “Revitalizing this caucus is pivotal for achieving the goals of a Smart Bangladesh. A rejuvenated parliamentarians’ caucus on disability holds the potential to drive significant progress, tackling current challenges and preempting future needs in the disability sector,” she stressed.

Md Shamsul Arefin reiterated the government’s commitment, affirming that “Integrating disability inclusion into our national agenda is not just a necessity but a moral imperative. We are committed to ensuring that SMART Bangladesh is accessible to all.”

Md. Abul Kalam Azad, MP, shared a vision for 2041 where every citizen, regardless of ability, can actively contribute to and benefit from the nation’s progress.

The dialogue aimed to identify hurdles and opportunities in fostering an accessible and inclusive Smart Bangladesh, thereby reaffirming the commitment to equal opportunities and empowerment for all citizens. The collaborative insights and efforts stemming from this event are instrumental for driving sustainable and inclusive development, ensuring that technological advancements and societal progress leave no one behind.

Concluding with a consensus on the necessity for sustained engagement and the establishment of a caucus to propel the disability inclusion agenda forward, the event underlined the importance of Smart Bangladesh becoming a beacon of inclusivity and accessibility.

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